Friday, February 26, 2010

Something to Chew On...

I thought this quote was very interesting. I came across it a few days ago.

"A child's character is forming under a principle, not of choice, but of nurture. The spirit of the house is breathed into his nature, day by day. The anger and gentleness, the fretfulness and patience--the appetites, passions, and manners-- all the variant moods of the feeling exhibited round him, pass into him as impressions, and become seeds of character in him; not because the parents will, but because it must be so, whether they will or not. The propagate their own evil in the child,not by design but under a law of moral infection...The spirit of the house is in the members of the children by nurture, not by teaching, not by any attempt to communicate the same, but because it is in the air the children breathe...Understand that it is the family spirit, the organic life of the house, the silent power of a domestic godliness, working as it does, unconsciously and with sovereign effect--this it is which forms your children to God."

Horace Bushnell, Christian Nurture

Quoted from, Classical Education and the Homeschool, by Wesley Callihan, Douglas Jones and Douglas Wilson

Let this quote sink in...yes, our children sin of their own volition, but SO much of who they are is literally breathed into them by us. So convicting and humbling, yet so hopeful all at the same time. Doug Wilson says often in his sermons on parenting that our homes should be the epitome of laughter and joy.

Any thoughts? I thought this quote was quite intriguing and left me thinking about it a lot.

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My second born is 3

My precious, little second born son turned 3 on Saturday and I could hardly believe it. Time has really flown. Tonight he sat at dinner with his shirt off and he just looked like a little boy with tossled hair in his eyes and a ragged grin. Really, that's what he is now. There's still some traces of baby left but not much. He's quickly passing out of my world and into the world of his Dad and older brother. He's always been close to me but lately I've been noticing him talking more and more about his Dad, and being excited to be with his Dad and Isaac. The transition is so normal and SO good but it is amazing to think about and watch. I can't keep him forever and he needs to be more in their world. He's growing up. He's a little man.

We had two little parties for him over the weekend. We kept our normal Movie Night tradition and had our friends and neighbors over for pizza, a short movie, a flashlight walk, and cake and ice cream. Caleb wanted a Percy cake. So that's what he got. Side note: It's extremely stressful to try and decorate a cake with three little boys in your midst-especially a 17 month old who is extremely skilled at using stools to his advantage. I don't know what I was thinking. Luckily, the little ones went down for a nap and I got to finish it up in peace.

Here's some pictures from Friday night.

Unfortunately for Caleb he was coming down with double ear infections (found that out at his 3 year check-up on Tuesday) so he was a bit cranky at his party. All in all though, he had a good time.

Of course we had to decorate for his birthday breakfast the next morning. He got a new bike from us so that was right next to his chair. He didn't even notice the bike until later though. He was too busy batting balloons all over the house. Steve and I just laughed.

After a breakfast of cinnamon rolls, requested by him, the boys helped their Dad and Uncle Dave do some work in the backyard and played with their cousins. Then it was off to Carl's Jr. for a cheeseburger, fries and a milkshake. Yes, we let them live it up on their birthday! Plus they worked hard so they deserved it.

Saturday night we had family over for a special Sabbath Birthday Dinner. It was a precious time of sharing what we loved about Caleb. One of the most precious things for me, as a mom, to hear was my oldest sharing what he loved about his little brother. I thought to myself, "All the fights I break up daily...all the millions of times I correct and tell them to be kind to one another, to respect each other's word and to love each other...It's worth it. It's worth it to hear Isaac talk about how he loves his brother." Moments like these encourage me to keep going.

Keeping with the train theme, here's some pictures from Saturday night.

Caleby we love you. We're proud of you and love watching how God is shaping you into such a special little man. We thank Him for giving us you three years ago.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Table Talk

This kid will never take a serious picture!!

This conversation occurred at the breakfast table over the weekend.

Steve: Isaac, do you know you're going to have a baby sister?

Isaac: Yeah. Is she coming today?

Steve: No. It's still going to be a few months but she'll be here soon.

Isaac: Oh.

Me: What do you think we should name her?

Isaac: needs to be a pretty name.

This is a very astute observation coming from a four-year-old. Steve and I eye each other knowingly with a glimmer of hope that he, the oldest, just might "get it."

And then, after some thought, Isaac responds very enthusiastically....

Isaac: Maybe we could name her Isaac! I could share my name with her.

Nice to share but nope-- he definitely doesn't get it.

Steve: Isaac do you even know any girl names?

Isaac: No. Can I go play trains now?

This house is in for a shock. We can't wait.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The trend....

Has ENDED. I never thought it was possible but this precious face is a sweet, baby girl. We, the Dauphins, are having a girl!! I didn't think we made girls but...evidently, we do!!

Here's the story. Yes, there is a story. Earlier this week my little one-year-old got sick. He had a pretty high fever and was crying constantly. I finally narrowed things down a bit and had a hunch that his throat hurt him. Monday night was spent rocking him back to sleep many times and Tuesday he was still a big mess. So, Wednesday, since he was still sick, I took him in to the doctor and found out he has some ulcers in his throat and a virus. Pretty straight forward. It was going around. End of story.

I thought my older two had escaped it (even though I caught Caleb drinking Josh's cup) because they didn't get sick until Thursday. Caleb was first last night and then Isaac was in the middle of the night. So we spent another night of musical beds. I slept most of the night on the floor with Caleb and Steve tended to Isaac. Joshua, of course, slept right through it as he was fine by that time. To top it off, Steve has a nasty cold and felt horrible.

We had planned to make a big deal of this evening with the boys and take them all to the ultrasound and then out to dinner afterward. But being as though they were sick (they can talk so they told me that their throats hurt) we decided to see how they were. This morning they seemed fine and Caleb even kicked his fever. They were playing and in generally good spirits. So I thought we'd be fine to all still head in to the ultrasound. They aren't coughing and they don't have colds, just a virus, so I figured it'd be okay. Everyone went down for a nap and Steve came home from school. He took a nap before we had to leave since he felt so horrible.

Then Caleb woke up screaming about a half an hour before we're supposed to get in the car. I go in and try and soothe him. He is so upset that he has woken up (his throat hurt and it woke him up) that he is hysterical. I try and calm him down with every trick I know but before I know it, he's coughing, choking and then THROWING UP! Oh my gosh! I think he just gagged himself and that's he's not really that kind of sick but how am I supposed to know for sure!! We're supposed to leave very soon. I quickly take him out of bed and throw him in the bath. Meanwhile, husband is snoring. I clean Caleb up, rock him for forever until he finally calms down and then go check on Isaac. We're supposed to leave in 5 minutes. Isaac is out--COLD. I can't wake him up. He never sleeps during the day but today, he put himself right to bed. I'm shaking him and shaking him and he's crying. Caleb's crying. And Steve is trying his best to roll out of bed to help.

This is definitely NOT how I pictured the afternoon. We finally get ourselves together and get everyone in the car and make it to the doctor's office on time. At this point, we're just praying that everyone can hold it together because we have no back-up plan and we just have to hope for the best. The tech, who I really like, asks me right off the bat if I have any premonitions about what the baby is. I give her an emphatic, "No." She then asks if I've had any dreams. I hesitate about this one because really, I had two different dreams and they were both girl dreams. I tell her that I've had dreams but I don't want to say and would she please just start the ultrasound and get it over with (okay I wasn't that rude but, I didn't want to talk about it!) She responds that in her experience, many times a mom's intuition is correct and so I'll have to let her know if I was right.

So on she goes with the ultrasound. Everything looks good. She's looking all around and then she smiles this huge smile and says, "You had a girl dream didn't you." I say, "Yes." And then she says the most beautiful words..."You were right. You're having a girl." I just start to cry. I didn't tell anyone about those dreams except for my husband. I ask her again if she's sure and she says, "Honey, I see that you have three boys...I'm definitely, definitely sure. I wouldn't tell you unless I was positive."

I'm still in shock. I didn't think it could ever happen. Our doctor walked in during the ultrasound and when he found out he said, "I demand a recall." Even he couldn't believe it! We're going to have a girl!! We're going to have a girl! I wanted to be thankful either way. I really did. But God really blessed me this time and just gave me something that he knew I always wanted. I know He didn't have to but, in His wisdom, He just chose to. And we're just beside ourselves and so, so thankful. Don't get me wrong, I love all of my boys so much and I'm really glad I've had three boys. But to experience having a girl is just too wonderful for me to even comprehend.

Even though this little girl is going to have three older brothers, I'm going to dress her in SO MUCH PINK that they'll be no forgetting that she isn't one of them. All right...bring on the dresses, bows, hats and accessories. I'm ready and I'm not looking back.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Saying Goodbye to the Greeks

I didn't have a big fat Greek wedding...I'm not Orthodox. However, I did grow up in a Greek/American home with lots of Greek pride and definitely a lot of influence. When I was small, I did attend Greek School and learned to faithfully read up to the 1st Grade reading level. Impressive huh! I can still sound out a decent amount of Greek words and when in practice, can understand the gist of a conversation. I mean, come on now, even though I am only a half-breed, I am still Greek and proud of it!! Once I married (without all the pomp and circumstance) I did lose my last name though which was the tell-tale sign that I was of Greek lineage. And that's okay because I was happy to become a part of my husband and leave behind my old life. Now, I'm a Dauphin (and I love it!) but really, it makes me sound French. Although my husband isn't French whatsoever, or so he tells me. But with the last name or without it, I'm still a Greek and proud of it!!

However, like I mentioned before, the Greeks are very proud people. They're proud of their families (they should be), they're proud of their history and all the wisdom they have contributed to the modern world and they want you to know about it. When I saw the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, my Dad and his family were written all over that thing. All growing up my Dad explained to me, whenever he could, what English words came from the Greek language and what their meaning was. When I saw the Dad doing that on the movie, I just about lost it. I thought it was just my Dad.

When my husband met my Dad for the first time, we were going out for Gyros (pronounced Yee-ros) and my silly husband thought he'd be sly and funny. So when my Dad announced we were going out for Gyros, Steve corrected him and said, "You mean Gyros!" (Jiiiiros, long "I" sound-the very red-neck pronunciation) thinking my Dad would know he was joking and that he was pretty witty as well. Dad looked at him very seriously and said, "It's Gyros (Yee-ros) I know, I'm Greek." Nice first meeting. We still laugh about that one. My Dad swears he doesn't remember that. However, I was there and I know Steve remembers it. There's no correcting a Greek when it comes to their stuff. Just back off!! Ha ha!

But even amidst all of the pride lessons and history, my Dad could only have so much influence because my mom had her family as well and they're just about as American as you can get. They're a mix of every nationality and they're from Oklahoma. So, in many respects, I still ended up pretty American.

But then, my older brother met a fellow Greek and they got married in a beautiful, meaningful ceremony (a true Big Fat Greek Wedding) and we got introduced to a whole new world of Greeks. Let me tell you, they're the real thing. When we traveled to her hometown, we met the Greek community, ate lavish feasts about every two hours and learned how to do the traditional Greek village dances so that we would know how to dance at the wedding. We learned all of the societal rules about visiting, where we could stand in church and how to not insult an elder by bringing them a present. This was all in a major crash course before the wedding. And of course, like I said before, we were encouraged to eat and eat. It was beautiful. It was fun. It was strangely like home to me with a little more punch. Okay a lot more punch. But it was wonderful. My Grandma had taught me to do some Greek cooking but my sister-in-law's mother taught me a ton! I watched her make all sorts of amazing treats and took the knowledge home with me to share with our family. My husband and I loved our time visiting (thanks Mom and Dad for footing the bill for that trip!!) and we have great memories.

Over the last 2 1/2 months, my sister-in-law's parents have been visiting from overseas and helping my brother and his wife with their new baby and so we've been able to see a lot of them. Her Dad can still be found daily in the garden and her mom in the kitchen. My parents have been so helpful too in taking them around places and generally, everyone has had a great time. But it's now come time for them to go home. So this weekend, we said goodbye to the Greeks. I'm not sure when we'll get to see them again. It may be quite some time but, it's been a nice visit. It's been fun to feast on Greek food and to laugh when I'm being told to "Eat! Eat!" again. Most of all, it's been fun to be together as a family.

All of the cousins!

Friday, February 5, 2010

This is the Life!

On their way to Daddy's Flag Football Game at Monte Vista (Daddy's coaching the 6th and 7th graders). It was the only home game and it wasn't raining too badly. Just enough to make some fun puddles and of course some great mud!

"Camping" in Caleb's bed. Big brother Isaac is reading to everyone and of course the flashlight makes it all so much more fun! They were all having such a good time that I didn't make them get dressed for awhile.

Sometimes I wish I could revert back to my childhood and live in the imaginary world that they do. But actually, when I really think about it, it's better to live it all vicariously through their little eyes. Yes...this is the life. I'll take my little seat in the corner and just watch. Then I can still be all grown-up but reminded, by my little boys, not to take life too seriously. And every once in awhile, more often than I might think, I'll probably learn a thing or two about being all grown-up from them and their careless take on life. It's during moments like these that I see how unique God made each of them, how much He loves them, how much we love them and what precious little souls they are. What a privilege.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


That's I officially hit the half-way point and turned 20 weeks. In celebration of making it half-way, I thought I'd write my top 10 things I've noticed about this pregnancy that I haven't experienced before. Most everything is old hat but, like every miracle, there are new and exciting things with every journey.

Top 10 Things I've Noticed about this 4th Pregnancy:

1. I'm much more easily tired. Probably because I'm getting older. My first pregnancy occurred when I was 23. I'm going on 29 people and inching ever closer to 30. So yeah, I seem to be tired out more quickly. Oh and I have three other boys too, ages 4 and under. That probably doesn't help.

2. Usually my skin is radiant during pregnancy. Not so much this time!! Oh man!!

3. I crave broccoli. I usually don't crave anything during pregnancy. Now my sister-in-law, she has the real cravings. I don't. However, for some reason, I LOVE broccoli and can't get enough of it. I guess it's not a bad craving to have.

4. I've popped out so much faster with this one. However, I have popped out faster each time so there really isn't any surprise. My body just knows what it's doing and so out the belly comes. It's kinda funny actually.

5. Luckily for my husband, I've only had one emotional breakdown and it wasn't huge. I'm not a big crier but sometimes the hormones can push me over the edge. Nevertheless, it hasn't been too bad this time. Maybe my body is so used to being pregnant now the hormone surges don't affect me as much. Who knows? I still have 20 more weeks to go.

6. I didn't feel the baby move until much later than my pregnancy with Joshua (my 3rd). I thought I'd feel him/her move sooner or at least around the same time but this time, it was closer to 18 weeks when I felt definite movement. It was hard for my OB to find the heartbeat though and he thinks my placenta is up front this time. So that could be why.

7. I haven't had the recurring nightmare yet (I've had it with every.single.child numerous times before birth) that I've forgotten to feed the baby for hours and the baby is starving and crying. I'm not sure why I always have this dream but I do. Nevertheless, it hasn't come yet. Maybe it'll come back right at the end.

8. I've broken some of my most cherished pregnancy rules: no eating cookie dough or drinking any diet sodas. I've given in on the cookie dough a little bit, although I've tried to be strong. And I've had my share of Diet A & W Rootbeers and Diet Ginger Ales. Sometimes I feel guilty but most of the time I don't. There's only so much a girl can take. And I've been pregnant so much in the last five years. I've had to give a little.

9. I've had to give up certain household chores (to my hubby that is) due to a lack of physical stamina. Normally I'd blaze right through these things and not care one bit, however, after my last birth being so traumatic on my body (more on that at another time), I've decided to let go and let my husband do some of the heavier things around the house. I always tell him I need those strong muscles to put my stroller away or take out the diaper trash. I also am trying not to pick my kids up as much. I'm hoping for a better outcome this time. If you think of it, pray my womb will be strong.

10. Frankly, I've been most surprised at how, even though this is my fourth time through this process, I'm still totally in awe of the miracle that God creates while bringing a child into the world. It is still so amazing, so new and just so wonderful. That never gets old. Maybe the sleeping on my side gets a bit old, or the fatigue and nausea. But feeling that baby rolling around inside NEVER ever gets old. And I thank God that He's given us yet another miracle to cherish, protect and love.

Now, I know you all want to know if we've found out what we're having. We haven't found out the sex yet and won't for another week and a half as our doctor is out on vacation. It's a horrible time to go on vacation if you ask me. I mean, my schedule is WAY more important than a little vacation to Hawaii! Ha! Nevertheless, he still left and so that means I must wait a bit longer. With our track record, you can expect another little Mr. Dauphin. That's what I'm expecting. However, we'll see what God has in store for us this time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Thought Meadow Magazine

Are you ever looking for something great to read? When I have a good book I'm a very happy lady. When a magazine comes in the mail that I love to read, I swoon. I simply love good reading!! I love to pass the evenings with a great book in hand and a cup of tea. There's nothing like it. I especially love reading that is geared to me as a woman and articles that encourage me and challenge me to think about life, the world and the Lord.

A few months back a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to write for a little publication called Thought Meadow magazine. It was just started last year and they were looking for writers willing to contribute some articles and she knew I needed an outlet for my many words so she encouraged me to contact the editor. By the way, did I mention, she knows the editor so, really I already had an "in". Anyway, as I was looking through the magazine, I was really intrigued and entertained by the articles. I simply enjoyed it and decided to give it a go.

This particular magazine is just in its infancy but its quality is excellent. So...I just wanted to put out a little plug for this up-and-coming publication. In their own words the creators of this magazine state that "Thought Meadow is a Christian magazine produced by women for the edification of souls and sharpening of minds. We welcome respectful and charitable discussion." This magazine was created for the sole purpose of "challenging women to think theologically about a variety of different topics with the goal of increasing unity in the body of Christ as women from different denominations gather to hone their writing skills and sharpen their minds." I don't know about you but, when I sit down at night, I want to read something that is encouraging and gets me thinking at the same time. This magazine marries these two concepts well and its wit definitely doesn't disappoint either.

It really is a great little magazine written for Christian women and it's highly affordable. A year's subscription is a measly $6!! Yes, I did say $6!! The magazine is published quarterly so that is less than $2 a magazine. Their most recent edition was just printed and it's excellent. If you are interested in subscribing, you should check out their website at and click on "Subscribe".

If you're looking for a great little magazine that can get you thinking, encourage you and not burn a hole in your pocket, then saunter on over to the website and sign-up. In fact, sign all the women in your whole family up for a few bucks. You'll be glad you did!!